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Use Your Auto Triggers to Full Advantage

Use Your Auto Triggers to Full AdvantageLately, there’s been a lot of talk about how marketers aren’t fully using the functions of their marketing automation platform (MAP). We understand that, after all, it takes time and practice to get familiar with all the bells and whistles, and some features just may not be required for your campaigns.

What should you be taking full advantage of? Your auto triggers (Autobots). Seems obvious, but are you aware of all they can do and the benefits to your team? There’s a lot of power in Autobots and you should be taking full advantage of them.

First, let’s get back to the basics of what these marketing automation tools are. An Autobot triggers actions against a customer or contact, either once or multiple times, based on rules you set, such as a change in data attribute, a digital behavior, increase in lead value score, etc.

Based on the rule(s) you set, an Autobot can trigger actions such as:

  1. Send email
  2. Tag a contact
  3. Alert a sales rep
  4. Increase / decrease a contact’s loyalty score for B2C
  5. Increase / decrease a lead quality score for B2B

In general, Autobots are an easy tool to help your business run more efficiently because they act in real time as contact data changes.

Are they effective? Yes. For example, an email newsletter mailed to a broad distribution list may have an open rate of around 20 percent. Not bad. However, emails based on a transaction (engagment) have an open rate of 52 percent. Bottom line, your trigger-based transactional emails will be more effective than newsletters.

“The fact is that emails sent based on customer actions get more opens, clicks, and conversions because they are contextual.”
– Chris Hexton of Vero

So, how do you use these Marketing Automation Autobots to the fullest advantage? According to MarketingSherpa, the most common emails sent via auto triggers are Welcome, Thank you, and transactions (receipts, bills, etc.), which are based on an action (register, purchase, etc.) However, there are many more uses–often under-utilized–to engage with your customers.

For example:

  1. Send product offer email based on product category visited
  2. Life events (birthdays, holidays, membership anniversary)
  3. Send realtime meeting request for inside sales reps
  4. Deliver content upon form submission
  5. Subscription confirmation
  6. Event reminders and follow ups
  7. Upsell / cross sell

Autobots are important because they allow you to send targeted, personal responses based on a customer’s actions. For example, going back to #1 in the above list, if a customer visited your site to look at screwdrivers, you could send emails with more product information, specific offers, and requests to meet with product experts. Sending personalized offers is incredibly effective; not only continuing engagement, but building trust and loyalty. It is retention through relevance; message content is targeted and timed perfectly.

Another critical use of Autobots is real-time follow-up, such as sending your sales team immediate notification when a customer fills out a form. Based on research published in the Harvard Business Review, contact qualification rates drop dramatically in just five minutes, and continue to decrease over the next few hours. With auto triggers sent immediately to your sales team, they are able to reach out to contacts within that critical window, maximizing results.

Other Autobot uses that are underutilized, but offer a “big bang for the buck” are:

  1. Win back / re-engagement
  2. Abandoned shopping cart
  3. Post-purchase follow-up sends, such as satisfaction surveys

How do Makesbridge customers use marketing automation auto triggers? One company uses Autobots to send customers access to their web-portal, including User Name and password. A check-in reminder goes out to anyone who has not logged into the portal in last 14 days.

Another Company is required by law to send an annual Privacy Policy update to all contacts on the anniversary date that was entered into their database. By using auto triggers, they eliminated the manual tasks of sending daily emails, as well as the time to query and pull all people to send reminders to on that date.

Below is a calculation of their ROI:

Operations Cost
Audience / Data Preparation: 3 hours per month
Daily Emails: 10 hours per month (assume 30 minutes per send per day)
Hourly Rate: $30/hr
Labor Costs:
List Prep: $90.00 / month
Daily Emails: $300.00 / month
Total: $390.00 / month
ROI Analysis
Labor costs w/o automation = $390.00
Cost of automation = $40.00
Net Savings = $350.00
Annual Savings to Operation = $4,200
ROI: 8.75x

Another Makesbridge Marketing Automation Customer had the task of sending “Upcoming Payment Reminders” four days before the payment due date. Manually, this consisted of a daily sort of upcoming payment dates, and query and pull people 4 days before payment date (average pull of 1,000 records). By using Autobots, the Company saved on labor time with more accurate reminders sent, reduced program costs and more timely payments from customers.

Here is a look at their ROI numbers:

Operations Cost
Audience / Data Preparation: 40 hours per month
Daily Emails: 100 hours per month (assume 5 hours per send per day)
Hourly Rate: $30/hr
Labor Costs:
List Prep: $1200.00 total
Daily Emails: $3,000.00
Total: $4,200.00
ROI Analysis
No Automated Workflow Cost = $4,200.00 / month
Automated Workflow Cost = $57.00 / month
Net Savings = $4,143.00 / month
Annual Savings to Operation = $49,716
ROI: 72.68x

It’s clear that customer engagement benefits significantly from using auto triggers, moving contacts through your sales funnel toward marketing qualified leads. But don’t forget the value to your team: Time management and associated financial savings. Time is a precious a commodity and using your Marketing Automation Autobots do the heavy lifting saves your marketing and sales teams from having to manually perform tedious, routine tasks.

So tell me, are you using your bots to their potential?

Photo Credit: jwellsrobinsonpc Flickr via Compfight cc

This article was first published on Integrated Marketing Association.

Jay Adams

Jay Adams

President and CEO at MakesBridge
Jay founded Makesbridge in 2001. As CEO, Jay directs product development and business development strategies. Under Jay's leadership, Makesbridge has established itself as a premier publisher of on-demand sales and marketing automation tools. Makesbridge's BridgeMail System product is listed in the Top 25 Most Popular Applications on the Salesforce Appexchange.
Jay Adams

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